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Vitamin D supplements, sleep could help manage pain

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

June 02 2017. For patients faced with the choice of using potentially addictive and dangerous prescription drugs or undergoing long-term unmanaged pain, findings reviewed by Brazilian researchers could come as a relief.  In an article published in the July 1, 2017 issue of the Journal of EndocrinologyMonica Levy Andersen and colleagues at the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo’s department of psychology suggest a benefit for sound sleep combined with supplementation with vitamin D for chronic pain management.

“Sleep and pain share neurotransmitters in their physiological processes,” the authors explain. “Compared to wakefulness, during normal sleep the release of serotonin is decreased; and under conditions of sleep deprivation, its release is further reduced, which contributes to nociceptive pain stimulation.”

Dr Andersen and colleagues note that vitamin D has been positively associated with improvement in infections, sleep and inflammation, all of which can impact pain. Such conditions as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain, lupus, and more have been associated with disordered sleep.

“We can hypothesize that suitable vitamin D supplementation combined with sleep hygiene may optimize the therapeutic management of pain-related diseases, such as fibromyalgia,” Dr Andersen stated. “It is necessary to understand the possible mechanisms involved in this relationship, including immunological and neurobiological pathways related to inter-relationship among sleep, vitamin D and pain.”

“This research is very exciting and novel,” commented Journal of Endocrinology editor Sof Andrikopoulos, who is an assistant professor at the University of Melbourne. “We are unravelling the possible mechanisms of how vitamin D is involved in many complex processes, including what this review shows – that a good night’s sleep and normal levels of vitamin D could be an effective way to manage pain.”

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